The Film Farm team wins CMPA producer award

2018 CMPA Awards
Prowler Films' Caitlin Grabham was named the recipient of the Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award.

The Film Farm’s Jennifer Weiss and Simone Urdl are the recipients of the CMPA’s 2018 Indiescreen Established Producer Award.

Weiss and Urdl, who are premiering Falls Around Her at the Toronto International Film Festival, are being honoured for their collective body of work.

The duo have produced films together for more than 20 years, including Octavio is Dead!, The Captive and Chloe. The award comes with a $10,000 prize.

Weiss told Playback Daily the pair owe a great deal of their success to their producer mentors and creator partners. “Every writer and director we work with has brought something fresh and unique and something that’s allowed us to collectively create something special,” she said.

Meanwhile, the CMPA named Prowler Films’ Caitlin Grabham the recipient of the newly dedicated Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award, along with a $5,000 prize. Grabham’s debut feature Firecrackers (written and directed by Jasmin Mozaffari) will premiere at the festival. Based on Prowler’s 2013 short of the same name, Firecrackers was produced through Telefilm’s Micro-Budget Production program (now Talent to Watch). Grabham produced the film with last year’s Emerging Producer-winner, Kristy Neville of Wildling Pictures. Exec producers include Alcina Pictures president and producer Paul Barkin and Wildling Pictures’ Matt Code.

Grabham told Playback Daily that a pivotal moment in her career came when the short-film version of Firecrackers got into TIFF in 2013. “I realized then that there might be a future here. So coming back to TIFF with the world premiere of [the feature] Firecrackers, which is based off that short, is a nice full-circle moment,” she said.

The film will be distributed by levelFILM in Canada, while Seville International is handling international sales.

The Established Producer Award jury was chaired by last year’s co-winner, Luc Déry of micro_scope (who shared the award with Kim McCraw). Also on the jury were Eagle Vision’s Lisa Meeches, executive Mark Slone, director Anne Wheeler and Streely Maid Films’ Sherry White.

The Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award jury was chaired by last year’s co-winner Matt Code (who shared the award with Neville). Other jury members were New Metric Media’s Caroline Habib, Screen Nova Scotia exec director Laura Mackenzie, Inside Out director of programming Andrew Murphy and WIDC president and CEO Carol Whiteman.

From L to R: CMPA president and CEO Reynolds Mastin, Established Producer Award co-winner Simone Urdl, Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award winner Caitlin Grabham, Established Producer Award co-winner Jennifer Weiss, TIFF’s artistic director Cameron Bailey.